SOWER Ministry Newsletter February 2023
Dear Friends,
 Sweet, Short February. There's a lot going on during this littlest of months, isn't there? In the SOWER world, February is generally our busiest month as many of us travel to escape the cold and this year is no exception - with 176 SOWER couples/singles serving Jesus around the country. Over recent months we’ve met and worked with so many SOWERs working their first or second project. How blessed we are to see their enthusiasm as they begin their SOWER journey. We've also worked with many who have been in SOWERs for over 10 years. How good to see their love of the ministry still shining brightly! So to the new kids on the block, to the ones who have been around the block, to the ones holding down the block at home for a spell, to the ones who have served well but have had to "hang up the tools" - we thank you that you have taken up Christ's call to LOVE and put it into practical application. I think that during this Love Month, it's always good to remember that the Love of our Savior is a VERB and not a noun. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son" for you and for me. May each of you find the grace and strength to keep sharing His LOVE in the days ahead.
Oh, how He loves you and me! 

Serving Jesus with joy!
Stephanie Conrad, #2509  

The Difference a Day Makes
Rainbow Acres
Rainbow Acres Snow
Cindy Campbell (3813) shared these stunning photos from Rainbow Acres (AZ-74) following an unexpected snow in January!
Divine Orchestration
You might think it could happen with the Smiths or the Jones, but who else but God could have orchestrated this group of Wilhelm’s #3285, Wilhelm’s #3662 and Willems #3997, all volunteering this past month at Texas Baptist Encampment (TX-364)?
Shepherd's College - WI-564
Shepherd's College in Union Grove, WI, is a college specifically for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled Adults. They have three Associate Degree programs: Culinary, Horticulture and Technology. The students live on Campus and besides their area of study, they are taught life skills such as budgeting, grocery shopping, and cleaning so that they can live independently. They can use lots of help with the maintenance and upkeep of the property as well as in the many gardens after the horticulture students go home for the summer. At this time, they are full for May and are going to wait to make further requests until they can plan and prepare. Watch the PLS over the summer for updates.
Bucks Ranch Camp
Bucks Ranch Retreat is a Christian retreat center located on 44 acres of Tennessee farmland in Waynesboro, TN. The ranch is a family-owned, family-friendly Christian retreat facility that hosts camps from May to early August, both Day Camps and Youth overnight camps. Bucks Ranch has requested 4 SOWERs for each month of the year. They have two sites with 50 amp and two with 30 amp service. The ranch is in need of construction help to finish buildings for expansion as well as general maintenance and upkeep. One goal is to update the RV area to accommodate 50amp service for all spaces.

A SOWER Milestone
4000 in our 40th Year!
We can’t highlight all our new members (we’re averaging about 100 per year currently), but somehow crossing the 4000 threshold seemed to be worth mentioning.
Number 4000!!
Please welcome to our SOWER Family Larry & Debbie Zeilstra, from Klamath Falls, OR – SOWER #4000! They are currently working on remodeling their home and hope to get on the road after they finish the remodel! Special thanks to Hank and Lori Williams (#3598) for introducing them to SOWERs! As always, our best advertisement is YOU! Keep up the good work, fellow servants!
Are you an Escapee Member? Check out their latest magazine issue!
Congratulations to Ron & Sharon Hoyt (#3815) for being featured in the January 2023 issue of the Escapee Magazine in an article on volunteering! "The ability to make a difference in new places has been everything they had hoped for and more. “It was like a missing piece of the puzzle,” says Ron." Thank you for sharing our SOWER ministry with the Escapee Community!
Underserved Project Update
Have you checked the Underserved Project List lately? The office has put together an updated list of ministries that have received six or fewer SOWER couples in the last 24 months. Check the PLS to see where you can serve or contact the office to get any clarification about these underserved projects.

Updated 1/26/2023
A Testimony -
In regards to the Underserved Projects, we encourage anyone and everyone to consider Camp Living Water (NC-285)in Bryson City, NC. It's absolutely beautiful there.
For the snowbirds, Macedonian Christian Academy (TX-499) in Donna, Texas, is a blessing to serve at. RV accommodations are at Bibleville Conference Grounds a few miles away. Bibleville is a beautiful place to winter with endless things to see and do or just relax in the lovely gated community surrounded by like-minded Christians who love the Lord.
Dan and Marlis Williams
Let us not forsake gathering together....
There is still room for YOU!!
2023 Florida SOWER Reunion
FL-143 Florida Baptist Youth Camp, Groveland, FL  
 February 27 - March 1, 2023, Monday – Wednesday
Theme: Serving Sacrificially 
Cost: (Cash or check only)   $80/rig   W/E 30 amp/dump
Room Rent: $80/couple (linens & towels not provided)
Early arrivals: $15/night
Walk-ins: $20.00/couple for 1 day; $30.00/couple for multiple days  (lunch provided for walk-ins)
Meals included: Supper on Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday(Potluck)                       Breakfast - Tuesday and Wednesday

Volunteer sign ups will be available on first day.

Bring your books for the Book Exchange Table!
Special Guest Tuesday Night
  Crossfire Gospel Quartet

Register: Text or call Diane Ramaker at 920-946-3345 or email at

Looking forward to seeing you at the Reunion! 
Wendell & Diane Ramaker, Jon & Cathy Richmond, Jeff & Barb Kaiser,
Bill & Kellie Blake
40th Anniversary Rally
Are you still on the fence about attending?
We'd love to see you there!
Registration Fee - $75.00
Please mail your Registration Form (available on the Members Only website or from the SOWER office) to the SOWER office in Lindale.
The DONATE button (below) can be used to submit your registration payment via credit card. Otherwise, please include your check with your completed form.

Payments for RV sites/lodging/meals are being handled directly with ALERT, and they will be contacting you with the charges that are due.

At this point all of the Premium sites have been reserved. Please indicate whether you need 30 AMP or 50 AMP on your registration form.


Are any of our project hosts attending? Yes! They have all been invited, and we have hosts from projects in WA, CO, CA, LA, NC, OK and TX planning to attend! Each project will be setting up a display table and will man those tables at designated times during the Rally along with being available when they are not at their tables. If you have a favorite project - please encourage them to join our celebration! It's a great way to promote the many ministries we serve!

Is there a schedule available? You can find a basic schedule along with more information about the roster of activities HERE! Check it out!
Committee Members
Mike & Jackie Barber #3601
Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509
Wayne & Gail Fieler #3187
Dwayne & Margaret Gearhart #3263
Ron & Reenie Maynor #3738
Carol Nering #3100
Gary Smith #3627
Wes & Carolyn Strausser #3369
Nelda Thompson #3445
Dick & Billie Mondello #3923
Calling all Sewing SOWERs!
Plans are moving along nicely for our 40th Anniversary Signature Quilt which when finished will hang at the office in Lindale. The basic design has been borrowed from this one hanging at ALERT (from their Family Camp), but our squares will be all ‘scrappy’! After all, we are a ‘scrappy bunch,’ aren’t we? We come from so many different backgrounds, that it only seems right to incorporate that beautiful diversity into our signature quilt. That’s where we need the help of our Sewing SOWERs! Would you be willing to put together some blocks for folks to sign during the 40th Rally in March? Each block requires a 7” neutral square and two contrasting 5” squares. When completed, they make into one (1) signature block and two (2) border blocks. We will be needing close to 150 squares, so even if you can only make one or two that would be greatly appreciated! If you can help, please just reply to this newsletter or contact me at
Quilt Block Instructions
Thank you to those who have already offered to make blocks and the many who have sent them in! It's been great fun to see what lovely fabrics everyone has chosen! Want to join the sewing party? You can view and download the instructions for the block HERE!

  • If you would like to sign a square but won't be able to attend the 40th Rally, just send me an email, and I'll mail a square to you. Feel free to add whatever you'd like to your square, but be sure to include your name and SOWER number!

  • If you will be attending the Florida Rally but won't be able to make it to the 40th Rally, there will be an opportunity to sign a square at the FL Rally also.

Questions? Just hit the reply button to this newsletter and ask away!
Seen recently on Facebook
Roy & Donna Olson (#2964) are getting started on our first SPM (SOWER Project Manager - see explanation below) assignment at Mt. Gilead Bible Camp (CA-533). They'd love to have you join them!
Have you stopped by our Facebook Group lately? Please use caution and respect when posting. This is a PRIVATE group (only members can see posts and add posts), but it is still good Facebook etiquette to get permission before you post someone's picture. Thanks!

If you're a member of Facebook, but haven't joined the SOWER Group click on the icon to join the family! Just enter your member number in the question, and the Administrator will approve you.
Since the SOWER Facebook group is a ‘private’ group, we try to limit our members to folks that are SOWER members or project hosts, and couples that are interested in joining our ministry.

If you invite other interested folks to join our Facebook group, they will still need to answer the membership question. Thanks!
Thank you to everyone who has given our SOWER Facebook Page a "Like." We're over 1500 "likes!"! If you haven't already given it your thumbs-up,  head over there now! It's a great way to spread the word about our ministry. 
While the SOWER Facebook Group is for sharing SOWER stories (and is something that you join), the SOWER Facebook Page is where the ministry shares information and works to generate interest in our ministry (and is something that you 'like').
Don't forget to check out your favorite ministries on Facebook. Many of our partner ministry locations have a Facebook page, and it's a great way to stay up to date on the places you love to serve!
Clicking on the heart above will take you to the Members' Page, the February/March SOWERGRAM, and the latest updates to our Project Listings (PLS)
(updated weekly).

If you have any questions,
please contact the SOWER Office  
This month there are 176 SOWER couples (or singles) serving at 54 different ministries around the country. Praise God for all work that's being accomplished!
SOWER Trustee Nominations
Due by March 15

A nominee needs to have worked a minimum of 12 projects at a minimum of 8 different project locations in addition to serving as Group Leader at least three times.

Let’s consider those we have worked with in the past and ask God to lead us to those who are qualified and eager to serve on our Board. Always remember you can submit your questions and concerns to any Board member for clarification and/or for a future business item at our next Board Meeting (April 2, 2023)

SOWER Project Manager (SPM) Update
What is it, and how will it work?
When a Project Host has a larger project that would extend over several months, SOWERs would seek to identify one of our Members to serve as Project Manager and this individual would work with the Project Host to provide ongoing oversite of SOWERs for the duration of the project to provide continuity from one monthly group of SOWERs to the next.
The response was very encouraging with between 25 and 30 Hosts saying they could use an SPM and that this program could greatly benefit their ministries. Many had projects that they would like to start within this next year.
Therefore, SOWERs will be looking for men who are interested and have the background to serve as construction project managers. We have determined that this SPM individual would also be serving as the group leader for the months that they serve as SPM, with a commitment of 3 to 6 months or longer depending on the project. It would also be possible to split up a project into 3-month sections and have two or more SPMs for the duration of the project. We will need individuals who have general construction background and are capable of providing oversite of a construction project. If you are interested, please send a brief construction resume to Roy Olson. Also, if you have previously sent in a resume, please confirm your willingness to serve in this capacity. I will be keeping a file of all interested individuals.
We are hoping to get all of the logistics worked out and get this program underway within the next year.
Roy Olson, # 2964
503 689 0799
IN FACT - Coast to Coast Opportunities
The Olsons (#2964) have signed up to serve at Mt. Gilead Bible Conference Center (CA-533) as a trial SOWER Project Manager for the restoration of 8 cabins. They could use 3 or 4 couples to join them on this project.

In Florida, we have already received a request from Lake Wales Care Center (FL-157) for someone to oversee the renovation of a newly acquired 2-story, 8-unit (2 bedroom, 2 bath) apartment building. Contact Roy Olson for more information!
SOWER Blog Roll
See what other SOWERs are doing around the country!
Ed & Patty Soltes #1864

 Gary & Stephanie Conrad #2509

Bruce & Katie Gay #3659

Terry & Alice Burnett #3071

John & Connie Nicholas #3322

Jim and Cathy Fry #3564

John & Druann Bauer #3521

Conrad & Pam Popp #3652

Burneall & Ann Ekberg #3702

Dennis & Lorree Johnson #3658

Sondra Smith #3779

Spencer & Lorraine Saints #3574

Mark & Jeanette Sheler #3782

Doug & Laurie Schneider #3704

Dave & Robyn Koppin #3847

Ken & Pebble Williams #3870

Paul & Juanita Alton #2766

Do YOU have a Blog you'd like to share?
Send the link to and we'll add it to the 'Roll'!

Group Picture - The January group at Lake Placid Conference Center (FL-341) Front row left to right: Terry & Donna Mascho (3600), Mim & Steve Cook (3770), Roni & Steve Killian (3891).
Back row left to right: Cheryl & Wes Lapp (3793), Ken & Brenda Diller (3475), Larry & Spring Gouge (3638), Diane & Wendell Ramaker (3411), Jim & Debi Snyder (3807)
Thanks, Diane Ramaker for sharing this group picture!

Header Photo - Mural painted at Florida Baptist Youth Camp (FL-143) by the January SOWER ladies!

Dear Sam and Sally,

We are new SOWERs and have only worked one project so far. We are seeing and hearing a lot about the SOWER Reunions/Rallies that happen in different parts of the country. Since we don't know many fellow SOWERs yet, we're not sure if we should be attending these events. Are there any guidelines about that?
New to the Game

Dear New,
I'm so glad you asked this! We attended our first 'reunion' after we had only worked three projects and felt (like you) that since we knew so few folks what was the sense in going? But fellow SOWERs encouraged us (at that third project) and promised to show us the ropes, so we went (with just a little fear and trepidation!). We are so thankful we did! It was during that first gathering that we began to more fully understand just how wonderful our SOWER family is! It's big and diverse, but personal and intimate at the same time! We came away from that "reunion" knowing that whether you've worked one project or one hundred (or even none!), SOWER rallies are for YOU! It's a time to see the 'bigger picture' of our ministry. A time to meet new SOWERs and connect with friends you've made during previous projects. They are jam-packed with activities, information, laughter, and prayer. So PLEASE - if there is any way you can make it to the Florida Rally or the 40th Anniversary Rally in Texas, COME! There is no better way to get to know your SOWER family!

Praying we see you there!
Sam & Sally

Do you have a SOWER etiquette question? Or maybe you'd like some clarification about a policy or rule. Sam and Sally would love to hear from you! Contact them at -   
To send in a prayer request or praise item-
To contact the office -

To submit a SOWER story or a photo to the newsletter, send it to